The Modern Workplace
Even as Artificial Intelligence promises to automate many essential tasks of the modern workplace, the need for collaboration among team members has become more important than ever. Modern collaboration tools can improve team productivity, which will shorten project timelines, lower costs, and enhance communication.
Consider the alternative: possible misunderstandings, delays, errors, or inefficiencies that abound in the absence of effective collaboration. Fortunately, there are many tools available to prevent these from becoming predominant, and include SharePoint, Viva, and Microsoft Teams. In Microsoft Teams, for example, there are ways to block out distractions digitally. You can also create channels and splinter groups to focus discussions better. SharePoint is another Microsoft product that focuses specifically on easy document sharing among teams.
10 Ways Collaboration Tools Increase Productivity
- Connect remote workers. It is essential to ensure that remote workers feel connected with their teams and avoid isolation from the rest of the company. If remote workers do not become engaged on a team level, they are more likely to leave for another opportunity, and companies like yours risk losing their investment in these workers.
- Instant meetings. Collaboration tools can allow team members to call a (virtual) meeting in seconds, since groups are pre-assembled within the tool. Instead of compiling a list of team members by hand and trying to set a meeting time, the process can be a one-touch operation with today’s tools in certain situations.
- Fewer silos. Silos arise when departments or groups become isolated and don’t share important or necessary information. The right collaboration tools can break down silos by configuring the way information is shared and by being available across all teams and departments.
- Eliminate redundancies. Once silos begin to break down, it will help to eliminate two teams or departments duplicating each other's work, which is a waste of productive time for the company.
- Reveal best practices. When information is shared more widely, departments can learn from each other which methods work best and incorporate those best practices into their own ways of doing things. As a result, work habits can be streamlined and teams can focus more on what works, rather than doing things out of habit.
- Increase innovation. Simply put, collaboration increases innovation. New ideas do not occur in a vacuum. They come from team members who share ideas and build them together.
- Make workflows transparent. With collaboration tools, everyone can see everything others are doing. No one is working in isolation, and everyone else can see and appreciate what other team members are doing to contribute to the bigger picture.
- Improve client relations. Another benefit to transparent workflows is that clients can see exactly what work is being done to move their project along. In most cases, this will impress them and give them a sense of greater control over the project. When clients have an issue with work being done, they will also be able to accurately describe what they are seeing and what changes they think need to be made.
- Exchange information in real time. Productivity will increase when team members are able to exchange information with each other and clients in real time, such as with file sharing and data syncing. When these functions are performed via collaboration tools, it also removes much of the potential for error that would otherwise exist.
- Reduce time spent on administrative tasks. Information on administrative items like policy, programs, promotions, scheduling, and budgets is all available within the system and at everyone’s fingertips, so no time is wasted finding this information or requesting it.
What does this mean for your business?
Is the cost of quality collaboration tools worth the investment for your business? A study by Deloitte indicated that employee engagement is responsible for about 20% of the operating income of the average business. Hence, the overall ROI for any such investment will be positive for any organisation and good collaboration tools would bring more benefits, especially unprecedented situations such as a global pandemic. Businesses learning new ways to communicate with modern collaboration tools can open up a world of possibilities.